Flower Tower in (a Few) Hour (s)

Terracotta stack

Terracotta Stack after gold leaf finish

We had the most glorious weather today! Our highs reached 75 F ( 24 C). Can you believe it? The temps should start dropping tomorrow, with much-needed rain in the forecast but today was lovely.

It was also the perfect, no-excuses day to take on my two-tiered challenge. I wrote at Crafts and Plants: My Winning Combination that I wanted to finally get around to planting a flower tower of terracotta pots. I found the idea back in 2008 in a magazine called Do It Yourself.  Today, I finally did. I also challenged myself to try something new; in this case, applying gold leaf.

As it turns out, it was really easy to do and a lot of fun. Like many things you try for the first time, there are things I would do differently. Overall though, not bad for a rookie.

Here’s what I did:

Clay Pots and Gold Leaf

Clay Pots and Gold Leaf

I picked up three clay/terracotta pots in graduating circumferences (12″, 10″ and 8″ inches) from the garden center, along with a saucer and some potting soil.

I bought a metal leaf starter kit at our local craft store. It included six pages of gold leaf, adhesive size, sealer and antiquing glaze. I had a couple of small paint brushes on hand.

I read the directions (twice) then jumped in.  Using a small paintbrush, I spread the sizing across the side of each pot, using a swirling pattern to create an organic shape. Once the sizing/glue was tacky to the touch, I applied the first sheet of leaf, brushing it into place with a soft, dry paint brush. (That was my favorite part!)

Antique finish detail

Antique finish detail

The leaf is super light and fly away, so I learned that you better have a plan. There are no second chances once it hits the adhesive. As small pieces tore off, I applied them to places with sizing. That was it!

Since the effect is as shiny as a new gold coin, I went ahead and brushed on a coat of antiquing (after sealing the gold first). I like the color but didn’t expect the brush strokes to be so apparent after it dried. The Mona Lisa Art Products Starter Kit came with enough product to complete one side of all three pots. You would need three or four kits to get enough coverage for all of them.

Stacked pots filled with soil

Stacked pots filled with soil

I raced back to the garden center late this afternoon and picked up a few cell packs. All that fresh dirt was simply begging for plants.

I planted:

  • 6 penny White Violas
  • 6 Penny Denim Jump-Up Violas
  • 6 Alyssum
  • 1 ‘Bluebird’ Nemesia fruticans

What do you think?

Flower Tower

Crafts and Plants: My Winning Combination

Before Pinterest, when you found an idea you liked, you simply tore it out of a magazine. Way back in 2008, I did just that. I thought it would be fun to make this stack of terracotta pots. It looked easy, affordable and fun.

Flower Tower

Stacking Terracotta

I saved the picture and instructions to do as a summer project with my son. Life threw us some curve balls that year, so the clipping was forgotten. Every year since, I pull it out of the folder, think “wouldn’t that be fun?” and then for some reason, I never get around to it. Does that ever happen to you?

Well, not this year.

The beauty of blogging is the sense of accountability.  I’m telling you that I will do this fun project. Soon. Maybe even this weekend.

I could simple stack and plant the pots as shown, but I’ve decided to make it even more crafty. I saw another cool idea on a design blog using gold leaf to jazz up clay pots.  Doesn’t this look like fun?

I’ve never applied gold leaf before, so I’m challenging myself to try something new. Stay tuned.

What do you have planned this weekend?